4 Best Pistol Braces 2019 – For AR-15 & AK Pistols, No NFA Required

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Ever want to install a pistol brace to have a legal short barrel rifle “pistol” legally without wait time or pay $200 tax stamp?

Here is the NFA NUT KICKER!

Adding a Pistol brace allows you to basically legally own a “less than 16” barrel rifle with 26 inches overall length without any NFA headache.

BUT! Before you get too excited, I want you to pay attention to the latest ATF rule on measuring the overall length without accidentally creating an “AOW” or “Firearm”.

[Updated 2019] Read More: New ATF Rule On Overall Length With Pistol Brace

Other than that, you gonna find the best pistol braces on the market for AR15 and other buffer tube configured platforms.

4 Best Pistol Braces For AR15 & AK47
Best SB Tactical Pistol Braces To Buy

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In the past, pistol braces were so ugly looking and bulky. Worst of all is when the brace tilts and slide around the buffer tube as you shoot.

Shooters used to use electrical tape to secure the brace to prevent shifting. However, that has changed.

Out of all the products out there, my favorite one is the Gear Head Works TAILHOOK because of it’s hardened built material in comparison to others. You can check it out on Amazon below:

find your pistol light here

Higher Lumen & Candela | Better Low Light Positive ID | Better Ergonomics

SB Tactical SBA3 – 5-Position Adjustable, The BEST AR Pistol Brace

Daniel Defense DDm4 V7p With SB tactical SBA3 Pistol Brace

This is by far is the most popular and aesthetic pleasing pistol brace.

Almost everyone picks this one because it works well and looks the best.

It goes on a 5-position mil-spec buffer tube and weighs 5.7 ounces, and it’s is made with rubber and polymer mixed material.

It’s the lightest and comfortable!

Simple Installation

The SBA3 is like a 5-position adjustable pistol brace “stock” in my opinion. It dramatically enhances versatility and comes with QD sling sockets.

SB Tactical really hit home with this product, and it’s totally legal and you

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I’m not even sure if you NEED to register an SBR, because this is already awesome. When you buy this brace, it comes with a mil-spec buffer tube.

SOB47 – Best For AK Pistol, No Drilling or tools required

For the AK pistol lovers out there, this is probably the best you will ever get. It’s made with the same material as other SB tactical braces, weighs 14.2 oz. The package comes in completely assembled, and read-to-install.

It includes the AK adapter for easy installation.

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SBPDW Adjustable Pistol Brace – Best For PDW, Works with standard buffer tube

This PDW brace will make all your PDW fans drool.

This brace is designed in conjunction with Maxim Defense.

It comes with a 3-position adjustable brace and weighs 18.14 oz, and it’s compatible with mil-spec bolt carrier groups and standard carbine buffers.

The best part is that you can use a standard buffer system. Buy SB PDW Brace From OpticsPlanet Gear Head Works TailHook

The Tailhook pistol brace by Gear Head Works is competing with the SB Tactical SBA3.

This brace takes the pistol brace concept to a whole new level with its 5-position telescoping feature.

It uses a proprietary buffer tube, so it will not work with other stock even if you plan on swapping it out with a real stock after you have received your tax stamp.

The brace is injection molded out of reinforced polymer for rigidity and strength. It doesn’t bend or move like other braces.

The hinge design of the brace allows the shooter to easily rest their forearm so you can shoot it like a pistol or one-handed comfortably. In my experience, everyone just shoulders the brace while shooting as it should be. Shooting a rifle with one hand is just not the right way.

Still Legal To Shoulder A Pistol Brace In 2019?

TRex Arm Shooting Sig MCX With Pistol Stabilizing Brace

Image Referenced From TRex Arm

The question people always ask is: Can you shoulder a pistol brace 2019?

The answer is – Yes, you can!

It has been clarified by the ATF that you can legally shoulder a pistol with a stabilizing brace. Read the ATF letter here.

There were lots of confusion in the past regarding whether it’s legal to shoulder the brace or not.

Since then ATF that has made it clear that You can shoulder the pistol brace, cheek weld them, and it doesn’t reclassify a pistol to an SBR

So have some fun!

The ATF has issued a letter in 2017 to reverse the 2015 Open Letter position on legal “use” of SB tactical pistol stabilizing braces.

Short Barrel Rifle “Pistol” Definition Updated 2019

[Updated 2019] ATF Pistol Definition: A weapon originally designed, made, and intended to fire a projectile (bullet) from one or more barrels when held in one hand

The overall length must stay 26 inches or more, otherwise, it fits the definition of AOW (Any Other Weapon)

A “rifle” pistol has the following core attributes:

  • Barrel less than 16 inches
  • No stock
  • No vertical grip
  • 26 inches overall length.

You can purchase, transport and carry your brace equipped pistol just like a handgun applicable with your local state laws.

  • No NFA paperwork when buying or selling
  • No Tax stamp
  • No 6-12 months wait
  • No ATF approval required when transporting across state lines

For users who intend to convert their pistol into a legal SBR, the pistol stabilizing brace allows the user to use the firearm while waiting for the tax stamp.

Fundamentally the gun function exactly the same, but ATF puts restrictions on how easy to get a short-barrel rifle.

How to Properly Use the Pistol Brace According to The ATF Law

You can exercise these shooting techniques on the range to maximize the effectiveness of your brace-equipped “rifle” pistol.

Reality Check – No One Ever Shoot Like This! 

Shooting AR15 with arm brace

Image Referenced from The Firearm Blog

  • Strap the brace to your arm for one-handed shooting
  • Cheek weld provides an ideal their point of contact (This works with low recoil guns, but not practical when shooting an AR10 or 50MBG pistol! Just shoulder the damn brace for your safety)
  • Sternum mount provides a stable platform optimal with a laser sighting system
  • Locking the pistol out on a fully tensioned sling (MP5K style, may not even need a pistol brace. Recommended for low recoil guns)

Pistol Brace vs Stock

Whether you’re having fun on the range or defending your home, the pistol brace provides you with the advantages of a handgun with greater stability by adding a third point of contact.


Pistol brace equipped firearms are much more compact and maneuverable than a standard length rifle.

The main purpose is to have a close-enough SBR configuration without any NFA paperwork!

Let’s be real here. Most shooters will shoulder the brace like a stock than wrapping it around their forearm.

It’s not practical to shoot you’re an AR pistol or AK pistol that weigh over 8 lbs with one hand.


  • Transfer
  • Buy
  • Sell
  • No wait


  • Legal transport just like a handgun
  • No ATF approval required when crossing state lines

Conceal Carry

  • Legally conceal just like any handgun

Can I Put a Stock on When No One Is Watching?

If you live in Northern Alaska, and you don’t live around anyone besides you for like 400 miles, then do whatever you want.

I highly suggest you do the legal thing. It’s not worth getting a felony charge for this.

Integrity first!

Can I Put Any SBR Upper on A Pistol Braced Lower Receiver?


Yes, you can put a short-barrel upper on a pistol lower. However, when putting an SBR upper with a registered SBR lower receiver, make sure the length of the barrel matches your Form 1 or Form 4.

Why Is SB Tactical SBA3 On A 5 position Buffer Tube Legal?

This might be a surprise to many people that ATF approved the use of a 5-position buffer tube for the SBA3 brace. Most people believed that if a pistol receiver part can accept a stock easily, then it’s illegal to have.

That has changed according to some weird interpretation of the wording on the definition. Please read the Official ATF Open Letter On The Redesign Of “Stabilizing Braces” for more details here.

The bottom line is that it’s legal. Go read it here.

Legal? Pistol brace on a less than 18″ barrel shotgun 

Remington 870 with pistol brace

Pistol braces on shotguns have been very popular recently. It’s legal and it’s not classified as a pistol or a shotgun. It’s classified as a “Firearm”. As weird as it sounds, that’s the legal term defined by the ATF in the United States.

When you install a pistol brace on a shorter than 18″ barrel shotgun, it has to have an overall length greater than 26 inches. Yes, it’s legal to buy one without any NFA paperwork.

Can I Transport My “rifle” Pistol Freely to Other States?

The most obvious benefit of a “rifle” pistol is that you can have the performance of a short barreled rifle without NFA paperwork. In most gun friendly states, it’s considered a legal pistol. So Yes, you can travel with your pistol as long as the visiting states allow it.

Can I Modify My Pistol Brace?

The answer is no.

Just leave the brace alone.

Don’t try to cut it or fill the brace with padding or remove the strap.

Can I Put a Pistol Brace On a Registered SBR Receiver?

You can go from a pistol to a rifle back and forth.

Once you filed all your NFA paperwork to register your receiver as an SBR, then it cannot go back to a pistol EVER AGAIN.

Folding Stock Adapter With a Pistol Brace

Law Tactical Folder

Image Referenced From Pinterest

For users who want a short gun to carry, operate and transport. I highly recommend the LAW TACTICAL Gen 3 folding stock adapter. As soon as I saw it on the market, I got it, and I love it.

The adapter will add about 10.5 ounces total to your firearm, and also about 1.5” length.

Beware of ATF’s new folding brace overall length, which could turn this into an AOW.

The adapter works the best for a piston gun such as the Sig Sauer MCX because you can shoot it without closing the stock.

If you shoot a standard DI gun without closing the stock, then you need to recycle the bolt for the next shot.